Firebird Focus – CWSNF Fundraising

28 February 2019

This month in our ‘Firebird Focus’ blog one of our directors Ian Gatfield is going to share our history working with The Children With Special Needs Foundation (CWSNF) and how we are planning to fundraise for them throughout 2019!

What was the first event you remember working on with CWSNF?

Way back in 2005 (14 years ago - crazy!!) I first met Gordon and Ann Parris who head up CWSNF as they were hosting a Charity Ball at Wentworth and needed a band for their event. From then on, we have assisted them with numerous fundraising events each year and this summer will see their 100th event with us!


What do the charity do?

The aim of CWSNF is to raise funds to support individuals, groups and schools in their requests for equipment, holidays and tuition and to provide essential care for children with special needs in Surrey, East Berkshire and North Hampshire. Over the years, I have personally attended many of the events that raise much needed funds for these children, and have seen first-hand how the charity can make such a difference to the children and their families.  


What type of events do the charity hold?

Throughout the year the charity hold various events to raise money for the charity. The main large scale events we assist with each year are their Summer and Christmas Balls which are attended by 200 plus guests and are always extremely popular! These events are run as a dinner-dance with guests enjoying a 3 course dinner, with top notch entertainment, lighting, staging, sound and production provided by Firebird of course! Gordon hosts the events himself with guests getting the chance to bid on some fantastic auction items, play ‘Reds and Yellows’ and try their luck on the raffle. After dinner one of our bands takes to the stage, and well you can guess the rest… there’s lots of dancing and merriment to follow!


How are the Firebird Team planning to fundraise for CWSNF?

We feel very privileged to have forged such a strong relationship with the charity over the years and felt we wanted to do more by setting ourselves various challenges throughout 2019 to raise much needed funds...  So far, the main events we are planning are;


Freefall Abseil off the ArcelorMittal Orbit

Scheduled for 18th May, ten members of the Firebird team (myself included!) are going to coax themselves over the edge of the ArcelorMittal Orbit and freefall abseil a mere 262ft. A few members of the team are excited for the adrenaline rush, but others are going to need a bit more encouragement over the edge… I’m feeling quietly confident, but that may well change when I get to the top!!


The Firebird ‘Big Walk’

Following my love of the great outdoors I have organised a ‘Big Walk’ from Winchester Cathedral to Old Shoreham Toll Bridge, which we will be embarking on the 8th and 9th June. This epic 60 mile adventure follows the South Downs Way across rolling hills and through bustling market towns and will be completed in one stint walking through the night! Everybody is welcome to join us for all, or part of the ‘Big Walk’, there are no joining fees, all we ask is for you to raise as much money as possible for CWSNF! Let me know if you want to join us…


How can you donate?

If you have a few spare pennies, we would really appreciate it if you can ‘dig deep’ and head over to our 'go fund me' page to sponsor us (you can choose to sponsor the whole team, or pick your favourite!)  - CLICK HERE 


To find out more about the charity and the amazing work they do please head over to


Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the third instalment of our ‘Firebird Focus’ blog at the end of next month, to see what the team will be featuring…

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